Margo Mary (McCarten) Eckman died on March 15, 2017, in Boulder, Colorado, due to complications following hip surgery. She was 97. Beloved wife of the late Judge C. Luther Eckman of Duluth. She is survived by her three children, Stephen Shannon Eckman (Linda), Wendy Eckman, Nancy Eckman Clanton, seven grandchildren, Britt Clanton (Rebecca), Anders C. Eckman, William T. Weil (Nicollet), Elizabeth K. Eckman, Shannon Eckman-Carlson (Steven), Dr. Leigh Clanton Hickerson (Jay), Lukas Eckman Weil, and two great grandchildren, Maya Hickerson and Lane Clanton. Margo was born in Great Falls, Montana on December 20, 1919, the only child of Dr. Robert E. and Ann Rohr (Shannon) McCarten. Her father's medical practice and her mother's family ties with cowboy artist Charles M. Russell contributed to her life-long interest in both medicine and Russell history. As a child, Margo visited Russell in his studio, treasured her own Russell sculpture and witnessed his funeral cotillion in 1925. She attended the University of Utah and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. In 1940 Margo enrolled at The Mayo Clinic's Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota, where she earned her Registered Nursing degree. As a student nurse she was often in Dr. Charlie Mayo's operating theater as the circulating nurse while Dr. Mayo performed plastic surgery on Canadian soldiers injured in the war. Throughout her life Margo maintained a life-long connection with the Mayo Clinic, her fellow nurses, and generations of Mayo Clinic physicians. Margo returned to Salt Lake City as a registered nurse whose skills were in high demand at short-staffed wartime hospitals. A young lawyer from Duluth was assigned to Salt City Army Intelligence, which job required him to live undercover as a civilian. He rented a room at Margo's family home. Sometimes Margo accompanied Lute on rides into the Utah deserts when Japanese hot air balloons, suspected of carrying germ warfare, had been sighted. In 1944, she and Luther (Lute) Eckman married and they traveled to Duluth on their honeymoon. She was an only child so Lute's family, a large, close-knit Swedish-Lutheran clan must have been a startling contrast, but she loved being one of "the gang". After the war they moved permanently to Duluth and Lute practiced law in the west end, and eventually became a distinguished District Court Judge. She and Luther were members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for over forty years. Margo spent her last 6 months in Boulder living with her daughter Nancy and at The Carillon where she met wonderful friends. She loved the lectures, musical concerts, yoga, and sharing a glass of wine at the pub. Margo was known by-and made friends with everyone. The defining characteristic of Margo Eckman, especially in her later years, was her remarkable interest in making friends with strangers. She would often talk to strangers; these were people at bus stops, at an adjoining table, seat-mates on long-haul flights and many of these "strangers" became life-long friends. Services for Margo Eckman will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2017, at Westminster Presbyterian Church Minneapolis, visitation at 1:00 PM, followed by a memorial service in the chapel at 1:30PM. A reception will follow at the church. Memorials preferred are to the Eckman Family Fund at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN. Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to share condolences.
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